Hi Maria! You always have the responsibility of so many passengers lives when you’re in the cockpit. I understand it’s rewarding, but it looks super tough at the same time. How do you get over this big stress? Thanks.

ANSWER: I don’t see my job as stressful. Actually, when I’m at work I feel the least stressed. All pilots have done extensive training in dealing with the unexpected while keeping a cool head in any situation.

Could you give me the link of the school that you studied at (school of pilots)?

ANSWER: I did my training to become a pilot at OSM Aviation Academy. They have a very informative website with a whole section of Frequently Asked Questions (many of the same questions that I receive).  Here’s the link to their website: www.osmaviationacademy.com. You can also find them on Instagram and Facebook!

I have really bad eyesight, can I still become a pilot?

ANSWER: You will need to pass a Medical Class 1 to obtain your pilot licence, and this certificate has to be renewed every year. A lot of pilots wear glasses or contact lenses (like I do),  but you should be able to see at least 0,7 with each eye and 1,0 with both eyes, with or without correction.

What are the requirements to become a pilot?

ANSWER: To apply for a flight school in Europe like OSM Aviation Academy you’d need the following: (found on osmaviationacademy.com)

  • 18 years of age

  • Graduated from High School with grades in:

  • Pass a Pilot Aptitude Test (both part 1 and 2)

  • *If you haven't read physics in High School, OSM Aviation Academy offers a 2-week long online course. You may sign up for this course after passing the Pilot Aptitude Test.

  • Pass an EASA Class 1 medical examination (the medical examination can be done after you apply, but must be done prior to course start).

How do you afford to pay for the pilot education?

ANSWER: I was fortunate enough to get accepted into the government funded aviation program in Sweden for half of my pilot education, the other half I did finance myself. After highschool I started delivering packages for a postal service company in Sweden, worked evenings in my mom’s paint shop and did a part-time job at the Air Traffic Control Academy at Malmö Airport. Saving all my money to finish my training and to build up hours in a small engine piston airplane. It was quite a stressful time when I studied for all my exams and worked at the same time, but I knew it was only temporary and kept motivating myself by looking at pictures of pilots in the flightdeck, having my eyes on the goal at all times, and that helped a lot! A lot of my colleagues have funded their training by taking a loan for part of the cost, or saved a bit before they started the training to become a pilot.

Are you guys in the cockpit allowed to hand fly approaches in bad weather? Or does the autopilot do everything?

ANSWER: All approaches and landings are manually flown. We have the option to keep the autopilot in until the minimum altitude of 158ft but then we have to disconnect and land manually (if not a CAT3 approach, then it’s autopilot landing). Sometimes when the weather is challenging and in windy conditions we disconnect the autopilot a bit earlier on the approach just to get a feel for how the aircraft is behaving.

Is it true than an airplane can start and land with only one working engine?

ANSWER: Yes, for take off you’d need a really long runway though. But no problem to cruise around and land with only one engine, we practice it every 6th month when we are in the simulator.

Have you ever experienced hard crosswind landing and landed the plane safely?

ANSWER: Many times! These kind of approaches that are a bit more challenging (compared to the days when we have good weather and calm winds) are the most fun approaches and landings! In the Boeing 737-800 that I fly, the maximum allowed crosswind component is 33 knots, for both takeoff and landing.

Is becoming a pilot a good job in the future? Will I get a job?

ANSWER: The market for aviation has a bright future! It’s very reassuring to know that the biggest aircraft manufacturer like Boeing and Airbus are forecasting a high demand for pilots in the coming years. In fact, there has never been a better time to become a pilot! Once finished with your pilot training you will start looking for your very first job. It’s important to choose a school with good reputation and training that will prepare you for what is to come. OSM Aviation Academy offers a conditional job offer these days, you can read more about it on their website https://www.osmaviationacademy.com/airline-ready-pilot. But in the end it’s up to you how well you do in the interviews.